>I’ve been kind of following a couple of stories in the sports world lately. Given all that’s been going on lately, I haven’t kept up with them nearly as much, but they are similar stories in different sports. So, here’s a couple of brief summaries on the situations, as I understand them, and my reflections follow afterwards.

1) Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg was the #1 pick in the MLB amateur draft. The Nationals, but virtue of being terrible, got the #1 pick and used it on the person who was widely considered to be the best pitcher available in amateur baseball. Strasburg spent last season as a junior at San Diego State University where he went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA. He also pitched for the U.S. Olympic team at the most recent summer olympics. He, as of August 13th, has not been signed by the Nationals. The deadline for draft picks to be signed by the club is August 17th. If Strasburg hasn’t signed by the end of the day on the 17th, he can play independent league baseball, go back to college (although, I’m not sure if he can since he has an agent), or sit around picking his nose until next year’s draft. Some reports put the contract that Strasburg and his agent, Scott Boras, in the $15-$20 million number.
2) Michael Crabtree. Crabtree, the WR out of Texas Tech, was the #10 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers. All of the pre-draft boards had him as the #1 WR in the draft, Al Davis, in his increasing insanity, decided to use the #7 pick that the Oakland Raiders had to draft a different WR. Crabtree is apparently listening to his cousin, who insists that he get a contract in line with the pre-draft rankings instead of the actual draft position. In other words, even though Crabtree was drafted 10th overall, he wants a contract better than the guy that was drafted 7th overall. To top it off, he is threatening to sit out the entire season unless he gets this contract.
First thought: Who in the world do these guys think they are?
Neither one of them has been on the roster of a professional team for a single day. Neither one of them has earned a single penny as a professional athlete, but they seem to have this sense that they deserve more than some veterans make in a single season. It’s just not right. I’m starting to think that all players should only get the league minimum for the first two years of their professional career. After that, they can sign a new contract that is based on what they have done on the field, and not on their potential or projections.
People in all professional fields start at the bottom and work their way up, no matter how good they are. Why should professional athletes be any different?